English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

Originally from Middle English scavager, from Anglo-Norman scawageour (one who had to do with scavage, inspector, tax collector), from Old Northern French *scawage, escauwage (scavage), Old French *scavage, escavage, alteration of escauvinghe (compare Medieval Latin scewinga, sceawinga), from Old Dutch scauwōn (to inspect, to examinate, to look at). Usually reinterpreted/re-analysed today as scavenge (which was originally a backformation from this word) + -er. Compare Old English sċēawung (a showing, spectacle, examination, inspection, toll on exposure of goods) and Dutch schouwing (inspection). More at show.

Pronunciation edit

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈskæv.ən.d͡ʒə(ɹ)/
  • (file)

Noun edit

scavenger (plural scavengers)

  1. Someone who scavenges, especially one who searches through rubbish for food or useful things.
  2. An animal that feeds on decaying matter such as carrion.
  3. (UK, obsolete) A street sweeper.
  4. (UK, historical) A child employed to pick up loose cotton from the floor in a cotton mill.
  5. (chemistry) A substance used to remove impurities from the air or from a solution.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

Verb edit

scavenger (third-person singular simple present scavengers, present participle scavengering, simple past and past participle scavengered)

  1. (archaic) To scavenge.
  2. (archaic) To clean the rubbish from a street, etc.

Further reading edit